'File 9/1 Institution of Reforms & Sunni opposition intrigues' [7r] (28/504)
The record is made up of 1 volume (241 folios). It was created in 10 Apr 1922-19 Oct 1930. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
Dated and received 2nd May 1922
Reference yonr despatch No»504-S dated the 14th
April. Bahrain Reforms*
It is the ardent des ire of the Government of
India t hat they should not be drawn into interference betw een
the Ruler of Bahrain and his subject s. But as the proposed
reforms are mainly due to their warning against opression etc^,
and appear sound in themselves you are authorised to inform
the Sheikh that Government welcome his scheme and will lend
their moral support to an honest attempt to put it in force
This authority is given on the understanding that
you feel that more than moral support is unlikely to be
required. But nothing should be done to encourage idea that
Sheikh is introducing reforms at Government dictation. Hence
you should consider whether better plan would not be for
Sheikh to make announcement shortly before your arrival.
Another meeting might then be hald at which you should congrat
ulate Sheikh on introduction of reforms and express hope
that they will prove of lasting benefit to whole community.
Sheikh should of course be encouraged to set aside funds for
public works, but it does not appear advisable for him to be
definitely required to do so»
About this item
The first part of the volume (folios 2 to 146) covers the period 1922 to 1927, and concerns proposals for reforms in the Sheikhdom of Bahrain, and their subsequent implementation and impact on the kingdom. This part of the volume contains letters exchanged between the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. in Bahrain (Major Clive Daly until September 1926, thereafter Major Cyril Barrett) and the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. (Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Trevor or the Acting Resident Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Knox until April 1924, thereafter Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Prideaux), and the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. and the Foreign Secretary of the Government of India. British officials discussed proposals for economic and political reforms in Bahrain, with particular attention paid to tax changes intended to redress the imbalance between what Bahrain's Sunnis and Shias were obliged to pay. Also discussed were the financial reorganisation of the customs house and regulation of the pearl diving industry, reform of the Bahrain judicial system, land registration and revenues, and the institution of a Levy Corps force. British officials also discussed the relationships between themselves and between members of the al Khalifa ruling family, in particular Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa and his son Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The abdication or removal of Isa, and the installation of Hamad, are discussed at length.
The last part of the volume (folio 147 onwards) spans the period 1929-1930, and is chiefly comprised of correspondence between the Bahrain Agent (Colonel Geoffrey Prior), Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. (Barrett to November 1929, thereafter Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Biscoe) and officials from the Government of India. This part of the volume concerns fears on the part of the Government of India that Britain is too heavily involved in Bahrain, and asks questions of whether the number of British officials in Bahrain can be reduced. Included are two lengthy reports by Prior and Barrett in June and August 1929 respectively (folios 147-162, 165-185) outlining Britain's historic intervention in Bahrain, and stressing the importance of its continued presence.
- Extent and format
- 1 volume (241 folios)
The volume's contents have been arranged in approximate chronological order, starting with the earliest items at the front and finishing with the latest items at the end.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: The foliation sequence begins on the front cover and finishes on the back cover, using circled pencil numbers in the top-right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. A second foliation sequence is also present between ff 2-118; these numbers are written in blue crayon, circled and can be found in the same position as the main sequence. The following foliation anomalies occur: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F; 137A and 137B.
The following folios are fold-outs: 17-18, 51-52, 64-65, 86, 106-107, 221 and 227.
The volume is tightly bound to the extent that the text on some items disappears into the gutter, making it difficult to read.
- Written in
- English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script View the complete information for this record
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